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  • Writer's pictureDillon Murphy

The Effect of Time Constraints on Value-Directed Long-Term Memory in Younger and Older Adults

Updated: Mar 7

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P&A_Hoover, Murphy, Middlebrooks, & Castel, 2024
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The Effect of Time Constraints on Value-Directed Long-Term Memory in Younger and Older Adults



Kara H. Hoover, Dillon H. Murphy, Catherine D. Middlebrooks, and Alan D. Castel



ABSTRACT

We often encounter more information than we can remember, making it critical that we are selective in what we remember. Being selective about which information we consolidate into our long-term memory becomes even more important when there is insufficient time to encode and retrieve information. We investigated whether older and younger adults differ in how time constraints, whether at encoding (Experiment 1) or retrieval (Experiment 2), affect their ability to be selective when remembering important information that they need to recall later. In Experiment 1, we found that younger and older adults exhibited similar selectivity, and the participants remained selective when rushed at encoding. In Experiment 2, older adults maintained their selectivity when given insufficient time at retrieval, but younger adults’ selectivity was increased when given limited recall time. Altogether, the present experiments provide new support for negligible, and in some cases, even beneficial, effects of time constraints on older and younger adults’ ability to selectively encode and retrieve the most valuable information. These findings may provide insight into a mechanism that allows older adults to use their long-term memory efficiently, despite age-related cognitive declines, even when faced with constraining encoding and retrieval situations.

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